Corcept Therapeutics: The Company That Perfectly Explains the Health Care Crisis

If someone wanted to use a Venn diagram to illustrate what is wrong with the U.S. health care system, picking the different sets would be easy: Price gouging, abuse of loopholes, hidden risks to patients, baffling regulatory decisions, marginal efficacies and the use of doctor payments to stimulate drug sales would be some logical choices.

Myriad Genetics: This Company Has Great Difficulties Telling the Truth

In early May several hundred investors, doctors and brokerage research analysts attended a dinner presentation after cocktails offered by the leadership of Myriad Genetics in Manhattan’s midtown. Salt Lake City–based Myriad, best known for its hereditary cancer tests, was in New York to tout new research on its increasingly popular GeneSight product during the American Psychiatric Association’s annual conference.

Illustration: Edel Rodriguez

Acadia Pharmaceuticals: This Is Not a Pharmaceuticals Company

Frequently sporting a $2 billion plus market capitalization, Acadia Pharmaceuticals brings to mind the work of Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte. His 1929 painting “The Treachery of Images” depicts a pipe with the inscription “This is not a pipe,” suggesting that an image and its meaning don’t necessarily correspond with each other.

Newton Glassman’s Legacy of Ashes

It was corporate skulduggery at its most audacious. Last September Frank Newbould dined at Scaramouche, a swanky downtown Toronto restaurant, with a businessman who said he would like to hire Newbould as an arbitrator. In reality, this was a ruse to engineer an attempted sting on Newbould, a retired Ontario judge, as the National Post reported.

DaVita Inc.: Warren and Charlie’s Excellent Insurance Gambit

Veteran card players pride themselves on their ability to discern what’s known as “the tell,” a series of involuntary mannerisms that can betray a rival’s strategic deceptions and even suggest a possible next move. On rare occasions a tell metastasizes into a red flag, a clear indication that something is terribly wrong. An example of the first is buried deep in a transcript of DaVita Inc.’s annual “Analyst/Investor Day” presentation in New York City.

BofI Federal Bank: Annals of the Bank of Misery

If you put together all the chief executive officers from the financial services industry in one room and asked them, “Who looks back on the years 2007 to 2009 with fondness?” it’s a very safe bet that only one hand would be raised. That hand would be on the arm of Gregory Garrabrants. The enterprise he has run since October 2007, BofI Federal Savings in La Jolla, California, is about as unlikely an institution to have prospered in those years as can be imagined.